The French trip is planned. Kathy and I spent four hours in a coffee shop amid ten French guide books, a notebook, our laptops, and one very large coffee for Beth. Up until Saturday, all we knew about our trip was our flight times and a general intent to see things we had not seen last year. Now we have railpasses, an itinerary, and a lot of impatience!
Here's how the two weeks look:
December 26: Arrive and catch a train from Paris to Epernay in the Chapagne region.
December 27: Explore Epernay and the Chapagne region
December 28: Catch a train to Nancy, explore for the afternoon and then move on to Verdun
December 29: Verdun--this is where trench warfare was at its peak during WWI- catch a train to Strasbourg
December 30: Explore Strasbourg-perhaps travel the 4km to Germany
December 31: Um, New Year's Eve...in Strasbourg
January 1: Sleep in (for obvious reasons) and then catch a train to Dijon
January 2: Explore Dijon (famous for mustard) and the Burgundy countryside (famous for wine)
January 3: Continue exploration of wine and mustard
Either the 3rd or 4th we'll catch the train to:
January 4: Tours--Les Chateaux!
January 5: Tours--we plan to take many tours in Tours. Yeah, I am a dork.
January 6: Tours for the morning, Paris for the afternoon
January 7: A big Paris breakfast before heading to the airport. Hopefully this time around Kathy and I will not be searched nearly as many times as last December at CDG!
On the Dominican Republic note, I got my Hep A vaccine at the Health Department on Monday. I decided that the Health Dept. is one government agency that goes against all the negative stereotypes. I was really impressed with how helpful they were. I may have just gotten lucky, but with no appointment I was seen in about ten minutes and the woman who helped me gave me a bunch of useful information.
The first meeting for the Mississippi trip was this week. Personally, the trip should be quite an experience. There are six of us going. Five men and me...oh and all five of them are married and at least ten years older than I am. Just based on the conversation at the meeting, I can tell that I am going to have to prove my worth when we start working. I know I had to prove my worth when I was sailing, but at least then I had people my age and my gender to befriend. Taking me out of my element should provide me with some serious opportunity for growth.
And now for the Florida trip update: not only will we be visiting our dad, but now Kathy and I will also be visiting Noni (one of our grandparents). We haven't seen Noni in years so we are really excited about this. For those of you who are impressed with my awesome dog, Noni is the reason my dog is so darned amazing!